Venue Tour: Breathtaking Backdrops To Say I Do

Rich histories and modern styles intersect in these recently renovated and newly opened spaces.
Written by
Emily Sweet


California Wedding Day Spring/Summer 2022

Respecting the past while introducing new features and updated amenities, these latest and greatest properties—from five-star wellness retreats and spa getaways to new hotel spaces and updated wedding venues—offer couples breathtaking backdrops for celebrating their love.

La Venta Inn 

Located in Palos Verdes Estates, the historic La Venta Inn recently reopened under new leadership. Now run by Meg Walker, CEO and executive chef of catering company Made by Meg, La Venta shines with new décor and delectable dishes from Made by Meg. With a focus on enriching the natural beauty of the location, recent renovations give interior spaces a fresh look, and interior design choices by Dannielle Albrecht of Dannielle Albrecht Designs emphasize minimalistic luxury. Tranquility and simplicity are the goals of the design which is enhanced by navy, blush and muted gold decor, creating a perfect canvas for weddings and events. Emphasis has been placed on maintaining architecture and outdoor spaces that date back to 1923, with lush landscaping framing stunning views and outdoor spaces. Throughout its history, the inn has served a variety of purposes, including as a lookout during World War II and a hideaway for Hollywood celebrities. The inn’s new design pays homage to that rich and interesting history. Known for its seasonally derived menus, creativity and high quality of service, Made by Meg offers guests delicious and modern food options and features more than 1,500 dishes. Walker says, “Our plan is to continue La Venta’s long legacy of hosting timeless and intimate seaside ceremonies, and we are more than ready to write our chapter in its history book.”

Mar Monte Hotel 

Santa Barbara’s historic Mar Monte Hotel is an ideal spot for couples who dream of tying the knot with their toes in the sand. Nicely situated across the street from East Beach, the Mar Monte recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation. In this reimagining of the 1930s hotel Vista Mar Monte, contemporary style draws inspiration from Santa Barbara. Throughout the 3 acres of Spanish-influenced property, design choices mirror the rise and fall of tides, as seen in the seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. Muted blues and grays enhance the hotel’s Spanish-style architectural elements, such as the exposed beam ceilings and arches. The hotel boasts more than 10,000 square feet of oceanfront event space, so there’s something for every taste and any number of guests. Most couples choose to have their ceremonies on the beach and return to the hotel to host their receptions in one of the well-appointed and newly renovated ballrooms. The variety of beautiful event spaces ranges from the intimate Fireside Room, which features hardwood floors and a wood-burning fireplace, to the vast Pacific Ballroom, with its entire wall of ocean-facing windows. The Terrace Ballroom, located in the Santa Maria building, includes a wraparound terrace for smooth indoor-outdoor flow—the building, which includes 37 guestrooms is also available as a buyout. Guests can fill their off-wedding time by grabbing one of the complimentary bikes for a cruise around Santa Barbara, including the nearby Funk Zone which boasts wineries, breweries and shops. A private tasting at the nearby Paradise Springs Winery is a great option for a guest outing or welcome party with the knowledgeable Stephen leading the way.

Four Seasons Hotel, LA 

The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles has further invested in the well-being of its guests with the introduction of the “wellness floor.” Perfect for a post-wedding getaway or bachelorette weekend, the wellness floor is appropriately situated on the same floor as the spa, workout room and pool. The renovated guest rooms are an oasis of calm, providing guests with a relaxing experience. Awarded the WELL Health-Safety Rating, state-of-the-art wellness suites feature Rabbit Air purification systems, water dechlorinators, sound machines and hypoallergenic wood floors. Plus, the cool color palette of the rooms, awash in soft blues and whites, promises a serene setting for recuperating from wedding stress. If the pressure has gotten to be too much, reconnect with your loved one with the Awaken Your Senses package, which includes a luxury room on a high floor with more pampering touches awaiting, such as specialty bath salts, chilled prosecco and salted chocolates. Ensure complete relaxation by booking a massage or facial with the 20% discount included in the package.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows 

Melding Hollywood glamour with the relaxed vibe of coastal California, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows offers guests a unique and refined experience. Recent renovations included the redesign of the Lobby Lounge and Jones Library, all with the goal of helping guests live each moment with indulgence and playfulness. A custom-made banquette designed by Household design agency frames the Lobby Lounge, and a jewel-toned atmosphere enhances the leisurely environment. The library takes a cue from the hotel’s art décor, combining bold blue walls and upholstery with floating palms and contemporary architecture. With its own ocean terrace overlooking coastal views, the library offers guests the perfect setting to recline, relax and entertain. Additional dining options abound with the recent opening of the new eight-seat sushi bar, Soko, which reinvented a former storeroom into an intimate experience helmed by chef Masa Shimakawa.